Barn Raising Project Kicks Off at Organic Farm


The Dartmouth Organic Farm will be teeming with activity over the next two weeks as construction crews and volunteers roll up their sleeves, put on their work boots and hard hats, and embark on a two-week barn raising project.

Construction of the farm’s new small barn begins October 24 and runs through November 10. A kick-off event will be held Thursday, October 25 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the farm, which is located approximately three miles north of campus on Route 10.

A rendering of the internal structure of the new barn. (produced by Sean Dalton of TimberHomes LLC)

Visitors to the farm during the October 25 event will be able to watch the raising of the barn’s timber frame. Farm tours will also be part of the day’s events. The barn is one component of the Dartmouth Organic Farm—a working garden that provides members of the Dartmouth community with vegetables and opportunities for hands-on learning.

The barn raising is a community effort organized by the Dartmouth Sustainability Program and the Dartmouth Organic Farm. Dartmouth is working with TimberHomes LLC, based in Vershire, Vt., on the project. The construction of the replacement structure is funded by the Dean of College and the Facilities Operations and Management department.

Members of the Dartmouth community will work alongside a TimberHomes construction crew to construct the 24-foot by 36-foot structure.

The new barn will be built on the same footprint as the previous barn, which was torn down in August because it was no longer structurally sound. The new structure will be shorter than the old one and the orientation of the barn has been changed slightly as well, explains Rosi Kerr, director of the Sustainability Program. Kerr says the new barn is aligned to allow for the possible installation of solar panels on the structure’s roof in the future.

An agricultural structure, the barn will be used for sorting and storing vegetables and storing farm implements and seed.

Members of the Dartmouth community are invited to volunteer as part of the work crew and to participate in barn-raising events. “There are a wide range of ways for people to get involved,” says Kerr, “ranging from wielding a hammer, preparing food for the crews or just stopping by to watch.”

To volunteer for the barn raising, send an email to

On Saturday, November 10, the Dartmouth Organic Farm will host a “Barn Raising Party” from 4 p.m.– 8 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the project.

“We hope the barn raising will serve as inspiration and excite people about the farm and its potential,” says Kerr. “It launches an era of new thinking for the farm and it is a small part of beginning an exciting conversation about how Dartmouth can become a national leader in sustainability.”

Chrissy Pearson, MALS '11